After a contentious race for the Mid-Island City Council seat, Republican candidate Steve Matteo celebrated primary victory Tuesday night, beating out Lisa Giovinazzo for a spot in November's election, which he will face against Democratic primary winner John Mancuso. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
To a crowd packed inside a Sandy-damaged restaurant he helped re-open, Republican City Council candidate Steve Matteo celebrated a primary victory Tuesday night.
"Character won tonight. Determination won tonight. Team Matteo won tonight!" Matteo said.
In a race that was at times negative and ugly, Matteo, chief of staff to current City Councilman James Oddo, faced Staten Island attorney and former NY1 employee Lisa Giovinazzo.
He beat her by winning 55 percent of the vote to her 45 percent.
For months, the pair traded barbs, attacking each other in campaign mailings and in a debate sponsored by NY1 and the Staten Island Advance.
But Tuesday night, both Matteo and Giovinazzo seemed to want to put all of that behind them, with Giovinazzo calling Matteo to concede and encouraging her supporters to now give their support to him.
"We will make sure that Republicans get elected in Staten Island, and so, I'm going to ask all of you to come out and support Steve Matteo, because we need Republicans." Giovinazzo said.
Matteo will face Democrat John Mancuso on Election Day.
Mancuso, a youth minister and former chief of staff to Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile, defeated Community Board 2 member Mendy Mirocznik, winning 60 percent of his party's support at the polls.
"I had everything going against me, the Democratic party, the other elected officials that had endorsed my opponent, but we proved them wrong tonight. The people of the 50th Council District studied the issues. They understand that I'm the best person for the job," Mancuso said.
The mid-island seat has been held by a Republican since it began more than 20 years ago.
Still, with more registered Democrats than registered Republicans living in the district, Matteo says he's taking nothing for granted as he heads toward Election Day.
"We need a stronghold on it, and we need to keep it, and we will keep it," Matteo said.
His opponent, Mancuso, says he'll do his best to make sure that doesn't happen.